Tristan's Testimony 4/2014

Well I could tell you a huge testimony and just tell you how much the lord has blessed me on this mission, but something I have learned is that sometimes the most powerful testimonys are the simplest! So I will quickly share that I know without a doubt this is the true church, that there is a God and he loves each and everyone of us! I know that because of the lord I am able to have a strong family in the church and because of his son Jesus Christ I can be forgiven of my sins and make it back to him! One of my favorite quotes that I heard from the conference is from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf its in 1 nephi and it simply states that it is AFTER all we do, that by gods grace we will be saved!


We had the opportunity to skype with Tristan on Christmas Eve for 2 1/2 hours. It was Christmas day for him as he is 15 hours ahead of us. We couldn't get the video to work for the first little while, but once we got it worked out Tristan was all smiles.
He is doing well. The lifestyle is so different there, he has had to get used to a lot of difficult changes. He has kept a very positive attitude and laughed a lot as he told us about some of them. His diet has changed dramatically, but he said he is really liking rice. He eats a lot of it. There are other things he hasn't enjoyed so much like chicken feet, ballot, dog etc. But I am so proud of him for trying. He has had some stomach issues due to the changes in diet. He had a great sense of humor concerning the lack of toilet paper issue, and says he keeps alcohol with him at all times for sanitizing. Before Tristan left, he would throw shoes to kill a spider and only ate cereal. He said the spiders there are huge and is thankful for the lizards in his apartment because they eat them. He said the apartment is the size of our kitchen. There were four elders living in it. They had small upstairs room with beds. They cook on a propane stove and shower with a bucket of cold water. Makes you feel super spoiled doesn't it? They walk mostly, but when they get rides it is on jeepneys or motorcycles with carts. He currently had 2 strong investigators with january baptism dates. We asked him how he feels he had changed the most and he told us that he had been humbled. He said that as soon as he got off the plane in the Philippines that he noticed the poverty. There were children only wearing a tank top for clothing and he commented on how dirty they were. He has seen children sleeping in the streets. He said some of those who do have homes do not have roofs. He said how grateful he was for the work he had. He said he could not believe what some of the people have to do for work and how little they are paid for it. He said our home is like a mansion in comparison. He said the kids toys are rubber bands. He said they don't have toys like we have. He said they are happy. He had a lot of children come Christmas caroling to his apartment during the Holidays for money. They have a mission rule that they are not allowed to give out money.
 He was able to email us again on Christmas for us, the day after for him. He had his camera stolen. :( so that was disappointing, but said he had a great Christmas night with some of the members that had them over for a Christmas party. They sang some Karoke and had dinner. He said he had a great time and really likes the members in his area. I asked him if he sang and he said yes, he said even if it sounded terrible he just kept on singing. He said that a mission is hard, but that he is doing well and is enjoying it. He also said to tell everyone hi and wish you all a Merry Christmas!
Carrie Herrin

December 15 2014

some christmas lights oh and they also celebrate new years here!:)

We asked if there was damage to his apartment and he said damage to our apartment it didnt hit are area as bad as others! but we just stayed at the church for a day and night then it was over! the bad parts happened at night with the storm so it wasnt bad and I was asleep haha!
We asked what they do for Christmas there and he said ..... So its pretty much the same different food but they have christmas trees mostly homeaide but some are the fake ones! they have lights but not everyone puts lights up.. oh they have lots of fireworks too haha! I will send pics but I have none of the storm! something cool is we drove through a huge river in a shallow part but my feet got soaked it was awesome but intense haha!:) So idk merry in tagalog but I know christmas is PASKO! so thats cool haha! But I dont really know much about christmas cause it hasnt happened to me yet haha sorry!
..... tell Lucas its so important everything he does now with the church! And tell him that Church is more important than school haahahaha jk idk if I would tell him that but its true!:P I just have faith that no matter what happens I will be safe cause I have promised blessings!
....Oh I totally for got we had another Tongan move in and a white guy named Bodkin in our appartment the old AP he goes home though the end of december! Oh and with the fight thing our zone leaders said I have a character of christ which is called The Peace Maker!!:) I am super excited to skype and I will find out when and what time we are going to skype so I will make sure that happens and I will also send pics right now!:) I am glad to hear all is well and I love all of you and thank you again for all you do mom, you are a blessing in it self! Mahal Kita Elder Herrin.. PS we are still teaching alot and tracting a ton to find more investigators!:)

December 9, 2014

 ....Ya it was a cool storm, but we got to a good safe spot at the stake center! The sky was dark for like 4 days and the wind blew super hard and same with the rain! but I am good! not alot of work last week too because of the rain and the storm! but we have been doing good and I am so glad the wedding went well and I think the pic of me is super funny haha! ..... I am doing good no problems and excited for the next storm haha jkjk! but I enjoyed it I am coming along with everything and just super happy for Anthony and Ty and Katey for catching the flowers haha! ..... Tell card board me hi and give him a kiss on the check hahahaha......but ya we got moved to the church and stayed the night there with a ton of members and investigators so it was pretty cool and fun! I am safe and doing well today is are pday this week because of the storm!:)

December 4th 2014

Hey just want to say good luck Anthony Love you and can't believe its really happening! I wont be able to email tomorrow or call so I love you guys and so proud of you! please send lots of pics and just know that no matter what challenges are ahead your Heavenly Father knows the best ways for you guys to get out of them so pray to him often! love you guys and so excited for you! Ty I am glad you are apart of the family!!!!!:) Love you guys miss you, Love Elder Herrin! Just by the way me emailing you is bad but I had to haha sorry but Love as always your favorite brother Kevin Malone!;) Oh and love you family and mom!!! oh and thanks for the letters and cards again they are hilarious and I am so happy to read them!

November 30th 2014

Nov. 30 2014-......Ya I got the Baptism and that was awesome!  I heard a story I like, it said there was an old lady, newly convert and really sick she was almost finished with the book of mormon and the missionaries told her she should get a patriarticle blessing, so she got it and she asked the missionaries to read it for her, they said no its sacred but as she explained she said she cant read.. and she said she new the church was true because she could read the Book of mormon and nothing else! so they read her the blessing she got and it said she would have been baptized 20 years earlier if a certain missionary would have went on his mission! and that story just hit me and makes me so grateful I did not wait and went on my mission! ..... I could work on thanking heavenly father as well! Miss you too love you very much and glad everything is well! Love Elder Herrin
 So that little girl by me is Ana and thats her family! her dad isnt a mormon but I like him! and the other one is me falling asleep by Keziah my new little sister I love a ton, she is so fun haha! I was so tired!:)

 thats a pic of a complete family we got her baptized the one in the blue shirt! and the other one is me being gay at my bday party haha!

 my lil sis again Keziah haha! and thats the girl we got her baptized by her father sorry she wasnt wearing blue haha!

November 17th 2014

.....its coming along(deaf investigators)  we have one getting baptized really soon! But I like learning sign language its fun! .....The people here I see are poor or smoking or doing something bad but I don't judge them because they have gone through worse than I ever have! I love it here and love the people! ......So something cool I have seen two cock fights and then two spider fights now haha! I have seen spiders that are almost the size of my palms and its freaking gross, people grab spiders and let them crawl around in their hands haha! Oh so here is a list of what I have eaten that is weird and I know what it was, DOG it tasted good but I could only eat a little because I knew what it was, Balot which is a fertilized duck egg, Chicken feet, Shark there are alot more but I don't know their names! My week has been good we do not get new missionaries until thursday so we get the apartment to ourselves! Its always hott and sweaty here haha! A ton of homeless people always ask me for money everyday here and there are a lot of bugs here like cars! I saw a beautiful area and its by Lucena, it was so beautiful I forgot to take my camera but next time I go I will take pictures! I am getting excited for Anthony and I might ask Mission president if I can call you guys the day before the wedding, if not I will just skype on Christmas! .......Christmas lasts from like September until December of January! People still think I am Super handsome and say I am tall even though I am not and they all stare because I am white haha not like racistly though! Anyways anything else you want to know just let me know! I am sending pics so it will take a minute but Mahal Kita, Love Elder Herrin P.S. Tagalog is coming along:)

a picture of member kids, the shorter one in red is so good at boxing

and that food is called taho its so freaking good but has a weird taste at first!

Nov. 9th 2014

... everything is great oh and I know its coming up my bday on transfer day so we get two new people in our apartment with us I think! but guess what Jerseys here are so cheap I have a Bryant and Anthony and Paul Jersey! they are like 5 US dollars! I am actually gaining a little cause I eat some much chicken rice and noodles and bread haha! and weird meats! ..... I love it here and my comp is huge so we go to the gym or workout and so I am staying in pretty good shape!.....Love Elder Herrin
make sure you guys save all the pics I send please! these are some of the deaf investigators and members

 we made a pyramid haha

 that sign is so funny I had to take a pic

OCT 27 - NOV 2 2014

November 2nd 2014- Ya its going faster but slow haha! I love it though. So the Halloween here is November first but we have to be in by 6 pm because of devil stuff or somethiing like that!
.... something cool we are teaching 4 deaf investigators and so I have learned alot of sign language and tagalog so this is pretty cool, the gift of tongues is real and I am a personal witness in my self and my companion!
.... the wards here are small but I love my ward! Oh yes they speak tagalog in the church and a tiny tiny bit of english but mostly tagalog, and I have just introduced myself and I was going to bear my testimony but I ran out of time! Every Pday we play basketball with our zone and volleyball so it pretty cool! I hang with alot of tongans here but my comp wants me to visit tonga after my mission haha!
Statue in San Pablo

His neighborhood

His apartment

His shower and shower bucket. I asked if they had hot water and he said they do if they heat it up on the stove.

 October 26th 2014-  I share a room with my companion, its small but it works I am not complaining!:) love you and I think I am good here dont really need anything but letters haha
......the people are very nice but some treat us like crap haha! So we are more focused on bringing the inactive members back so we will see! and we have dates set but lets hope they still want to get baptized by then!:) the language is coming but slowly and its hard but it will come! but I saw a bunch of homeless kids sleeping on the sidewalk this morning! its a super poor country and its sad to see but I love the people here! sometimes its hard but "If a mission was easy, everyone would be doing it."
 I met a little girl last night I wanna adopt she is so cute and I hope my kids look like her haha! so there are probably a bunch of kids I would adopt but this one was just like my favorite she was so cute! she is probably 10!
.... all the food that is supposed to be American food here is a cheap knock off haha!
 Something I heard that I really like is "Missionaries leave there families for 2 years so that people can be with there families  forever." I love it here and have really grown to love the book of mormon and its teachings! My favorite story is Nephi! I love that one its amazing to me reading it! Its so simple this gospel and I love it but its so hard sometimes because people ask questions that just drive me insane because we explain it to them but they dont get it! They try to say they already have a religion and say that they have the bible and we show them that the book of mormon isnt an old or new testament of Jesus Christ but ANOTHER testament of Jesus Christ! idk its long stories of people that say stuff like!  people are funny and confusing here but its okay because I know that the holy ghost will guide them! anyways love you guys hope all is well, Love Elder Herrin
...... Oh idk if I told you but all the girls here say I am handsome and love my blue eyes haha! so I might just have a wife I am bringing home haha with my adopted kids haha!

First 2 weeks in San Pablo

  October 12th   2014    ..... Philippines is crazy! Since I am white everyone wants a high five or says I am super tall and what not haha! I realize how bad I am at the language but it is slowly coming! I ate Balot which is that bird thing haha and chicken feet already haha! I eat with my hands and I shower in a little bucket, we wash our clothes in a bucket too! our water shuts off at 8:00 and then turns back on at 3:00! ...... anyways I love it here the roads here are insane! lets just say I cross the street when traffic is coming both ways and make it across fine! my new companion is awesome and hes tongan too! his name is Elder Vaitohi and he does everything for me, I love him and he is huge.. not tall but jacked! the philippines is like so poor and sad but there all so happy! like our house is a mansion compared to here! some people dont even have roofs or clothes here! I am sorry for complaining about food or our house or anything, I realize how much I truly had! Everything is so cheap here I love it and everyone like rides motorcycles or scooters! transportation is fun! Everyone likes to talk to me about the NBA and about america in general! Its a kids dream to go to temple square in salt lake and it kinda makes me feel so bad, I take so much for granted! the little kids here are awesome and they love touching my hands and feeling the hairs on my arms and giving me high fives! the kids say "Up here" = high five haha! there are alot of people who ask for money and I tell them wala akong pera... which means I have no money! there are elders here that have cool weapons and I can get a weapon too for super cheap! oh Basketball jerseys here are so cheap too! Its dirty here with all the dogs pooping everywhere and you can throw you trash on the streets and no one even cares! I try to find trash cans though! Oh did I mention its super hot here and I sweat a ton but drink alot of water! the food here is pretty bomb and :....... My area I am in is called Lucena 3! its also very beautiful in some areas too here forgot to say that! It gets dark quick here and :I am starting to get used to waking up early! so that picture online of the mission home is nice but around the mission home is poor and ghetto in a way! So love you guys, I will send pictures soon Mahal Kita, Love Elder Herrin

October 19th 2014.....Our apartment we are in is a lot nicer than a lot of the members and just homes around us but it is small and we do everything else like them haha like shower in a bucket and all that! I love it here but on thursday through today I have had a stomach ache and last night and today I have had a fever... I am feeling better now though! Other wise tho  I am doing great!:) Its hard to explain it here its crazy here and something cool every store here has a cop with a shotgun or AK47 guarding it! I love my zone and my mission leader and mission president I love them all and the language is coming along but I have along way to come!........ we have a little stove thing that is way small but it works haha! .....Oh I forgot with the water thing as long as its sealed on top its clean water haha so I am fine and doing well with that! But Richard G. Scott gave an awesome talk I loved it! I love my mission and was so blessed to be called here.. we teach a lot of lessons and have some baptism dates set in november so the work is coming along! my companion is awesome and is so funny I love it! But it is a humbling experience and I am glad I am hear in the Philippines! oh and we walk a lot but we also drive around on those little motor tricycles haha! its fun here.. like everything is legal here haha but not murder and theft haha! anyways I am doing great..... I love you guys and am excited for everyone back home Mahal Kita, Love Elder Herrin

A few more pics at the MTC.

We just got his SD card and so I thought  I would post a few more of the pics he sent us. Lucas got a really short email on Tuesday that said "Its crazy here and I will write more tomorrow, I get to san pablo tomorrow! Love you by! P.S the storms here are awesome and hard! tell everyone I am well and that I love them."  We have not heard anymore from him yet.

October 3rd 2014

Traveling to the Jungle

 October 2nd 2014
Our entire family had the opportunity to talk to Tristan throughout the day. He told me about getting to see his Taylor, his Grandma and Christian at the MTC. He  was able to spend some time with Christian that evening and then spent the night talking with the other elders going to San Pablo. He was very excited to go. He was given a water purifier and told not to drink anything that didn't have a sealed cap. He was also told that he was going to a very poor area and when offered food, accept and eat, but not very much. His main meal will be Rice in the mornings they will prepare for themselves. He told me he tried to gain some weight in the MTC and thought he had gained a few pounds. He was excited to be leaving the MTC, but would be staying in the Manila MTC for a few days when he arrived. He shared his testimony with me in Tagolog, I was surprised at how quickly he could speak. He said he is enjoying learning the language. His travel time was over 24 hours, he left the MTC at 4:30 AM and arrived in Manila at about 8:20 AM the next day. They are 14 hours ahead of us. His last words to me were not to worry, that he would be safe and him and our family will be blessed for his service as a missionary.

Final Days in the Provo MTC

 October 1st
Tristan "borrowed" a Host badge and was able to meet Christian at the curb when he was dropped off at the MTC.

 October 1, 2014
 Dearest mother... I will send a picture of my flight plans, its about a 14 hour flight but 21 hours all together I think! but not forsure! I fly first to portland then to japan, then too manilla! I am so excited I leave tomorrow at 4:30 but I dont think I arrive until like later! I will send a pic! but I will look out for christian! I am so excited to see him! love you mom i will send the flight plans soon! :)
ps. I already am Tarzan!
 September 20, 2014
  Dear Nanay-
This week flew by! We got our flight plans! I am so excited!!! We only have one partial regular week left! ....... but I like trying and talking in the language its fun and hard though! I am trying to get it down but there is more and more to it every time, haha but I know I will get it! Let everyone know I love them and am praying for them constantly! I want to share some good quotes with you from Richard G. Scott, He came and talked to us tuesday! he said "The lord called you to succeed not fail." 
"The stronger your faith the better connection to god." And finally "Without Faith you can do nothing." Those were some of my favorites he shared with us!....Love you guys thanks for the story and write back only if you have time!:)
ps. Oh mom I also saw a bat hit a wall and we picked it up, It was soo cool! haha

September 13th 2014

........ I love everything about my mission even the hard parts! and I have gone to the lord for help so much!..... The lord knows us and knows everything about us, he is always there for us so think about this, "What if you only got what you thanked the lord for the night before?" Remember The lord is the light that can not be hid in the dark! Listen and follow his promptings he loves us and I know he is watching over are family! I love you guys and hope all is well! I heard about Christians thing and thats exciting he will love it here Obedience brings blessings, strict Obedience brings miracles! love Elder Herrin

September 6th 2014

Dear Ina or Nanay Its been good I have a cold but Its getting better my back is alright I think the only thing that hurts it is the crappy chairs here haha! the language is coming along I can bear my testimony and say a prayer but the rest is taglish Witch is Tagalog/english haha! I teach fake investigators everyday and we try to teach with the spirit! But I want a real one even though it would be super hard haha! But thats so exciting... I might be able to call home on there wedding days! .........Can you send sour patch kids with the next package? Oh send me pictures for sure I have started a little scrap book thing here with all the pictures you guys sent me! and its pretty cool! Love you guys.. Love Elder Herrin/ Andrew Bernard... Nard dogg